A quarter of businesses do not encrypt crucial data

A quarter of businesses do not encrypt their most sensitive data, a new survey by AIIM suggests.

The survey, entitled ‘Data Privacy – Living by New Rules’ says that not only do businesses fail to encrypt the data, but more than a quarter (26 per cent) have also suffered loss or exposure of customer data.

Furthermore, 18 per cent lost employee data, and 10 per cent were fined by a regulator.

All of that happened in the last 12 months. Eighteen per cent lost customer trust, and 25 per cent saw a disruption of business.

“Customer data can be an invaluable asset for any organisation, but it is imperative that personal data is kept safe and that consumers are confident their personal details remain private,” said Bob Larrivee, Chief Analyst, AIIM. “But it would seem that many organisations are struggling to secure sensitive and personal data even under current data protection rules, and are confused by the future implications for Safe Harbour and the General Data Protection Regulations.”

Hackers may be to blame for the data loss businesses suffer, but it would be much harder for them to achieve their goals if it weren’t for internal staff.

Staff intent (19 per cent) or staff negligence (28 per cent) were to blame for around one half (47 per cent) of data breaches.

The survey also says that 13 per cent suffered data loss from external hackers. Despite this, around a quarter of respondents feel that senior management does not take the issue of data privacy breaches seriously.

The research for ‘Data Privacy – Living by New Rules’ was underwritten in part by AvePoint. A copy of the executive summary can be downloaded here.